ARC Leadership Conference seven student-athletes attended

Rivals Unite Through Leadership Conference

The American Rivers Conference hosts the Student-Athlete Leadership Conference every two years. Seven Loras off-season athletes were nominated by their coaches to attend.

“It was nice to know our coaches thought about us in that way,” said Mary Bean (’25), a soccer player from Cedar Rapids. “I was excited to go, but also nervous. I didn’t know who any of you guys were,” volleyball player Cat (Catherine) Meyer (’24) shares with a smile.

The weekend’s highlight was the keynote speaker, Nate Wilson-Traisman, who presented on the mental side of sports and performance anxiety. “That was my favorite part of the conference,” said Max Golembiewski (’25). “He told us not to go against our performance anxiety. Finding ways to improve this was a cool thing to listen to.”

“There was one slide I took a picture of,” Katie Callahan (’26) shares. “Everyone says the anxiety is normal, but hearing about techniques on how to use it to your advantage was really helpful.”

Sixty-five students from nine schools attended the weekend conference in Cedar Rapids. Junior football player Preston Petrusek (’24) said he enjoyed mealtime the best. “We got to know each other, and athletes from other conference teams. We never get to do that.”

Teams were also mixed to create student-led productions of public service videos that the conference will share during Division III Week. “My favorite part was making the ARC videos with people from other schools,” shared Bryan Basinger (’25). “It almost felt weird working with people from different schools in the ARC to make the best video possible. It showed me that although we are rivals, we can work together for the greater good.”

When asked what they will bring back to their teams, Elaina Schroeder (’26) replied, “I want to apply the different leadership methods we discussed at the conference along with different opportunities to be more inclusive. I will also be more informed on how to help my teammates cope with their anxiety while playing volleyball and hopefully be an outlet and a helpful source for them.”

The Student-Athlete Leadership Conference provided valuable lessons for the Loras athletes on leadership, mental performance, and collaboration across competitive lines.

Related News